West Kilbride August Links Report 2022
August has been another busy month for the Greenstaff preparing the course for the Members/ Guest Day and the Scottish PGA Championship. The competitors for both events got a great day and week for it as there was hardly a breath of wind and the sun was splitting the skies. Both the club and the course got excellent feedback after the PGA event.
On a slightly less positive note it has been brought to my attention that some members are struggling to play out of several bunkers and highlighting there is a lack of sand or the bunker sand is too hard. Sand levels are monitored regularly and sand is added where required but after periods of heavy rainfall, the sand in some bunkers can become hard or slightly panned in the middle. I have noticed this in particular with the new sand and unfortunately, we can’t resource the older sand anymore. The Quarry at Hugh king used to make 7 different types of bunker sand and now due to financial restraints they are only producing one suitable type of sand for golf courses. I am constantly trying to find other bunker sand options but there is nothing else available at the moment. However, in the meantime to try and overcome this problem the Greenstaff are teeth raking the bunkers and using the mantis machine to fluff up the sand as much as possible but with our current staffing level and busy fixture list it is impossible to carry out extensive bunker maintenance on a daily basis or after every time we experience periods of rainfall. It would also be helpful if all golfers could rake the sand away from them rather than pulling towards them when leaving the bunker this helps to maintain consistent levels of sand in the centre of the bunker.
The following work has been carried out on the course:
- Sand levels within the bunkers have been monitored sand added where required. The sand has been moved and pushed about back into the centre of the bunker from the edges.
- General cutting and maintenance was carried out throughout the course.
- Fairways, surrounds and tees were sprayed with Liquid iron, wetting agent and liquid iron to promote turf health, colour and help retain moisture in the soil profile.
- All burns and ditches were strimmed, fly-mowed and tidied out.
- Divoting of fairways and tees was carried out on the course before, during and after the PGA event to ensure the course was tidy and kept well presented.
- All rabbit holes and worn areas have been seeded, filled in and top- dressed.
On The Greens:
- The green speeds for the members guest day and PGA event were 10.5 and slightly above on some greens.
- The greens were sprayed with liquid iron, fulvic and humic acid. This helps the plant withstand stress from increased cutting and rolling.
- The height of cut has now been put up to 3.75mm from 3.4mm
- The chemical Attraxor has been sprayed on all greens to help regulate growth and supress meadow grass seedheads which can affect the pace and ball roll on the greens.
Other course news:
- I plan to cut out and prepare all winter greens over the next few weeks
- All worn and bare areas on the surrounds and fairways will be overseeded and top-dressed over the next couple of weeks.
- I am currently in the process of finalising the winter programme for this year and I hope to have a copy available alongside next month’s links report.